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Rapid, Semi-Automated Fractionation of Freshwater Dissolved Organic Carbon Using DAX 8 (XAD 8) and XAD 4 Resins in Tandem
Natural Science, Volume: 08, Issue: 11, Pages: 487 - 498
Swansea University Author: Peter Holliman
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Natural dissolved organic carbon (DOC) consists of different bio-molecular classes of compounds that are currently very difficult and time-consuming to isolate as individual compounds. However, it is possible to separate natural DOC into hydrophobic and hydrophilic fractions. Such characterisation a...
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Natural dissolved organic carbon (DOC) consists of different bio-molecular classes of compounds that are currently very difficult and time-consuming to isolate as individual compounds. However, it is possible to separate natural DOC into hydrophobic and hydrophilic fractions. Such characterisation approaches are becoming increasingly important because, over the past 20 years natural DOC concentrations have been rising rapidly in many parts of the world, most likely influenced by climate change. Higher DOC concentrations in drinking water catchments present a serious problem for the water industry because DOC can form disinfection by-products DBPs during water treatment (e.g. chlorination). Hence, there is an urgent need to better characterise natural DOC before, during and after water treatment. However, current DOC fractionation procedures are extremely laborious requiring days and continual manual monitoring to separate sufficient quantities of DOC for subsequent analysis. This seriously limits sample throughput and the parameter space which can be studied. In this paper, we propose a much more rapid semi-automated method (12.5 hours/litre/sample) which utilises readily available equipment, i.e., HPLC pump or similar and sequential columns of Amberlite DAX 8 and XAD 4 resins. The method reduces the manual input from continual attention to minutes. This paper describes the development of the method and its application in the fractionation of natural DOC from reservoir and lake samples fed from upland peat-land catchments. Recoveries are found to be comparable to those using the manual technique, with the dominant component being hydrophobic acid accounting for 35% - 40% of the natural DOC with the second largest, being hydrophilic acid at 20% - 27%.
Dissolved Organic Carbon, Hydrophilic Compounds, Hydrophobic Compounds, Fulvic Acids, Humic Acids, Resins
College of Engineering